The House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted the direct and indirect means of primaries for political parties in the country, but voted against the use of consensus to pick party flag bearers.
The lawmakers approved both the direct and indirect methods of electing candidates by political parties, effectively jettisoning the compulsory and contentious direct primaries that had caused serious friction between the legislature and the executive.
The Lower Chamber, during plenary on Wednesday, adopted both the direct and indirect primary clauses as modes of electing candidates by political parties for general elections.
The provision of both the direct and indirect methods of primaries was the original provision in the extant law of the Electoral Act of 2010 before the National Assembly, in the course of amending the Electoral Act, decided to expunge the indirect primary mode from the Bill before forwarding it to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
The Electoral Bill, however, ran into troubled waters late last year when Buhari withheld his assent to it, citing the impracticality of the direct primary mode at this time of the nation’s history and the burden it would place on political parties in the country.
The rejection of the Bill by Buhari compelled the National Assembly to promise wider consultations with their constituents with a vow to come up with an acceptable solution when they resume early this year.
And from all indications, the resolve of the House to reconsider the Bill and opt for the inclusion of the different options in the Electoral Bill could be the result of the wider consultations.
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